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Chile's Earthquake & Why Codes Matter

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  • Chile's Earthquake & Why Codes Matter

    This morning there was an 8.8 earthquake in Chile. If the measurements stand it will be tied as the 5th largest earthquake since they started measuring in 1900. The largest earthquake ever was also in Chile in 1960 and it measured 9.5. The Tsunami from the 1960 earthquake killed people in Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines. This earthquake was approximately 500 times the power of the Haiti earthquake.

    The big difference between Haiti and Chile is Chile has building codes. I guarantee you the loss of life, while still tragic will be nothing compared to Haiti. The fact that international organizations and hospitals in Haiti fell during their earthquake is ridiculous. I understand how a third world country cannot afford to build to our standards but when outside groups build in third world countries they should know better.

    Mark
    Last edited by ToUtahNow; 02-27-2010, 02:13 PM.
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

  • #2
    Re: Chile's Earthquake & Why Codes Matter

    Valid points Mark. Some of the extreme numbers of lives lost in haiti can be attributed to the concentration of poplulation, but absence of building codes cannot be ignored. Here in the "USA we have building codes, but enforcement of building codes for existing structures is very poor. In NYC landlords and tenants often add makeshift walls to increase the number of rooms and occupants for profit. This practice leads to the death of tenants and Firemen when these noncode structures collapse and or block passage.

    I know for a fact that certain companies get a pass when it comes to placing cable and wiring building for telephone and or cable. I worked for NY TEL and if we had an underground cable to a building go bad we had to dig up the street, usually from the manhole. Depth was well below the frost line and usually in the six to eight foot range. Cable TV is allowed to shallow trench the street and unlike phone lines which must follow internal building risers, can place wires externally on the building facade. There is a reason and benefit to uniformity that exceeds appearance.

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    • #3
      Re: Chile's Earthquake & Why Codes Matter

      Often this terrible loss of life comes down to money . Places in the third world have little economy, Infrastructure , and education is non existence. Poor souls grubbing each meal for their family's. Building Codes and structural engineering is not in their world. Bless them.
      I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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      • #4
        Re: Chile's Earthquake & Why Codes Matter

        Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
        Often this terrible loss of life comes down to money . Places in the third world have little economy, Infrastructure , and education is non existence. Poor souls grubbing each meal for their family's. Building Codes and structural engineering is not in their world. Bless them.
        I would agree that shanty towns aren't going to have building codes, but commercial structures or ones that are foreign owned/built should. My son's camp counselor from last year died in a Haitan hotel room. I think that if the hotel was in California (or probably even New York) she probably would have survived. If you look at the list of Earthquakes on wikipedia, the ones in the US of about 7 have much much much lower death rates.

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        • #5
          Re: Chile's Earthquake & Why Codes Matter

          The world should learn from haiti. Government that had no structure, no concern for the people. Good people from the USA and other countries were there doing volunteer work to help, but there was no grass roots government involvement to change the country. A couple years ago my college age daughter talked about spending a Summer there doing humanitarian work, I researched the idea and said NO! Haiti was a very dangerous place, long before the earthquake.

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